An article discussing Paul Tough's new book, "How Children Succeed," suggested that rather than so much focus on cognitive skills, a little more grit is what kids really need. This is partially true. Frankly, our children will be best prepared to pursue their dreams when we focus more on cognitive skills and more on all facets of character. That said, what is grit, and how do we teach it?
Grit is perseverance, tenacity, firmness of character.
We do not teach it to our children by telling them to "man up."
We teach grit by our own words and actions, by complaining less and trying harder.
We teach grit by explaining that failure is the first step towards success. We remind our children and ourselves that everyone who ever learned to ride a bike, everyone who ever learned to skate, first fell.
We teach grit by convincing our children never to be afraid or ashamed to ask questions. "If you don't ask, you won't know."
When our children tell us that they can't do it, we teach grit by explaining that they can't do it yet.
In other words, we teach grit by providing our children with a safe and comfortable environment in which to fail. By doing so, we give them the lifelong courage to learn.
Post by Frank Marchiony
- Time.com: Failure is Not a Bad Option
- PaulTough.com: How Children Succeed
- Learning Through Play with Loose Parts
- Dress Up